Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

The Weir Team

The listing: 51 Barker Ave., Toronto

Asking Price: $899,000

Taxes: $3,358.34 (2020)

Story continues below advertisement

Lot Size: 25- by 134-feet

Agent: Chris Neill (The Weir Team Brokerage Inc.)

The back story

Tiffany Vogel was three years old when her mother, Trudy Vogel, purchased a tiny bungalow in East York for the two of them.

The year was 1987 and bidding wars were becoming increasingly heated in the Toronto real estate market.

The dining area table can be lowered when people are seated or raised to almost counter height.

The Weir Team

“I know when we first bought the house, mom had missed out on a few,” says Ms. Vogel. “She felt very lucky.”

The local library still has vintage photos of 51 Barker Ave., which was originally built as a cottage. Gradually the neighbourhood grew up around it, with postwar bungalows lining the street.

Money was tight over the years and, at times, Ms. Vogel says, her mother wondered if she would need to sell the house to pay for her daughter’s education.

Story continues below advertisement

“We were very house poor and many times considered selling to make ends meet,” recalls Ms. Vogel.

The thought of her mother giving up their treasured home motivated Ms. Vogel to achieve high marks in an effort to fund her postsecondary schooling. She went on to study at Oxford University on full scholarship.

Following graduation, Ms. Vogel launched her career and rose to the level of partner at the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

The kitchen has sleek white cabinets, a chef’s range and an island.

The Weir Team

During her time away, Ms. Vogel always had a notion that she would like to return to Toronto and settle into her childhood home.

In 2017 she made the move back to Barker Avenue and decided to freshen up some of the dated colours and materials. With only 560-square-feet on the main floor, she didn’t see the potential to do much more.

“I would describe the initial project as a facelift,” says Ms. Vogel.

Story continues below advertisement

A long-time friend, interior designer Enid MacIntosh of Great Interiors, agreed to help her choose some paint colours and other details.

Ms. Vogel was on a ladder poking into the ceiling when the two realized that the beams and trusses above would allow them to open up the space to a dramatic vaulted ceiling.

Basement with ample living space.

The Weir Team

“You can live large if you plan it properly,” says Ms. MacIntosh. “When you go up, you essentially visually double the size of the space.”

From there, the project turned into a major renovation that would transform the bungalow from top to bottom.

“It evolved,” says Ms. MacIntosh to laughter from Ms. Vogel.

The house today

Ms. MacIntosh has designed residential and commercial interiors in Toronto, Los Angeles, Miami and Tel Aviv.

Story continues below advertisement

Her work has included creating interiors for homes of 10,000-square-feet and developing compact model suites for developers.

The back wall is painted dark grey in order to define the space. A ladder provides access to the loft above.

The Weir Team

“I’m always up for a design challenge,” says Ms. MacIntosh. “I work big and small.”

On Barker Avenue, she suggested reconfiguring the main floor with a new kitchen, dining area and living room.

The open plan places the area for lounging and relaxing at the front of the house. A new window overlooks the front porch and street.

Throughout the house, window openings were lined up to create a consistent appearance, Ms. MacIntosh says.

Strategically-placed lighting – including track lighting along the beam – illuminates art and collectibles. The LED lighting also allows Ms. Vogel to adjust the mood with dimmer switches.

Story continues below advertisement

“Light can make or break a space. I like to see moments where you’re creating focus,” says the designer.

A second bedroom.

The Weir Team

The kitchen has sleek white cabinets, a chef’s range and an island.

The dining area’s bench and table fit the space perfectly, says Ms. MacIntosh, who designed the table so that it can be lowered when people are seated or raised to almost counter height.

“The space changes if you need it to,” she says.

The back wall is painted dark grey in order to define the space. A ladder provides access to a loft above. Ms. Vogel says the loft could be turned into a reading nook or a tiny guest bedroom with the addition of a rail for safety.

A door leads to a bedroom at the rear of the main level. Doors open to a Juliette balcony overlooking the backyard. The designer borrowed space from the kitchen to create an ensuite bathroom.

Story continues below advertisement

A door from the kitchen leads to a bedroom at the rear of the main floor with an ensuite bathroom.

The Weir Team

The Weir Team

Ms. MacIntosh had a bench and hidden storage built into the walk-in shower. The designer found clever uses for any leftover space.

“We converted the chimney into a dream shoe closet,” says Ms. Vogel.

Downstairs, a complete overhaul created more living space.

“The basement was just a warren of small rooms,” recalls Ms. MacIntosh.

The team decided to underpin and waterproof the basement. They reconfigured the space to create a lounge, a second bedroom and a bathroom with natural light from a window. There’s also a kitchenette on that level.

The completed house has a tight colour palette of grey and white and other neutrals so that the flow continues throughout.

“I think it’s an artful space,” says Ms. MacIntosh.

While the renovation was still underway, Ms. Vogel’s plans took a turn and she met her husband. She now lives in California. Trudy Vogel, meanwhile, has decided to spend her retirement outside of Toronto.

The mother and daughter decided to list the house for sale.

Earlier this month, real estate agent Chris Neill of The Weir Team listed the property with an asking price of $899,000. After five days on the market, the Vogels received nine offers and the house sold for $1.38-million.

Ms. Vogel says she’s disappointed that she did not have a chance to spend much time in the newly-renovated home but she hopes that it will stand for a long time. The large backyard would accommodate an addition on the rear, she points out.

She still recalls the first time she visited the home with her mom.

“We lay on the floor together and looked up at the ceiling. That’s what we plan to do when we say goodbye.”

The best feature

The living area has a wall of custom-built bookshelves with shelves above and a library ladder which slides on a rail.

“A huge feature wall of books is your colour,” says Ms. MacIntosh.

Ms. Vogel says the wall serves as a spot for valued possessions.

“I’ve collected a lot of books over the years – I see books as art - and a lot of memories.”

Your house is your most valuable asset. We have a weekly Real Estate newsletter to help you stay on top of news on the housing market, mortgages, the latest closings and more. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct

For sale in this area

View similar listings below. Clicking on the map will take you to the listings below.

Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
899000.00
606 MORTIMER AVE, Toronto, Ontario
BOSLEY REAL ESTATE LTD.
Bedrooms
3
Bathrooms
1
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
This Perfect Condo Alternative Offers A Lot More Than You Can Imagine! Holy 36' Wide Lot! Home Is Opened Up & Filled W/ Natural Light. 2 Bdrm Home Features Newer Kitchen, Freshly Painted, Large Private Drive, Big Basement & Bonus Coach House. The ""Tiny Home"" Is Wired, Plumbed, Kitchen W/ Gas Stove, 4 Pc Bath, Nook For Desk & Elevated Loft For Sleeping. Access Is Also Available Off Lane With A Newer Gate, Add'l Garden Shed.A Family Friendly Neighbourhood...**** EXTRAS **** ...Close To Parks,Hospital,Schools/Daycare And Stroll To Danforth. Ss Stove, Cooktop With Hood Vent,Bi Dw (2),Fridges (2),Gas Range,Bi Desk&Shelving, Pergola, Garden Shed, Gb&Equip. All Elfs,All Window Cover. 2nd Bath Ri Basement. (id:31729)
Listing ID E5191733
Salesperson AMY WILLIAMSON
Brokerage BOSLEY REAL ESTATE LTD.
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
989000.00
636 MORTIMER AVE, Toronto, Ontario
SAGE REAL ESTATE LIMITED
Bedrooms
3
Bathrooms
2
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Morti-Need-No-More. 636 Mortimer Ave, You Sly Devil, Existing There Bathed In Perfectness And Practicality. You Don't Need More Than This, People. Three Bedrooms, Two Bathrooms, A Finished Basement And Best Unicorn Of All: Two Car Parking. Bbq Dreams Delivered With This Great Backyard Made For Having Everyone You Love Over At A Safe Distance. Tucked In Snug As A Bug Between Danforth Village And Stan Wadlow Park. Run Like Lightning.**** EXTRAS **** Inclusions | Whirlpool Fridge, Stove/Oven, Dishwasher, Washer & Dryer, All Light Fixtures Not Outlined In Exclusions. Exclusions | Light Fixtures In All Three Bedrooms, Second Floor Bathroom And Kitchen. Hwt Is Rental (id:31729)
Listing ID E5192949
Salesperson ALEX BROTT
Brokerage SAGE REAL ESTATE LIMITED
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
1099000.00
158D GLEBEMOUNT AVE, Toronto, Ontario
THE WEIR TEAM, BROKERAGE INC.
Bedrooms
3
Bathrooms
3
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Gorgeous Custom-Built Semi On An Extra Wide Lot With Built In Garage! Meticulously Maintained, The Main Floor Features Chef's Kitchen, Open Concept Living/Dining Rooms & Walkout To Landscaped Backyard W/Gas Bbq Perfect For Entertaining. Three Generous Bedrooms Incl. Master W/ 3Pc. Ensuite & W/I Closet & 2nd Floor Laundry. The Finished Basement W/ 7.5' Ceilings, 2Pc Washroom, Large Windows And A Gas Fire Place Makes A Great Home Office Or Space To Relax.**** EXTRAS **** Steps To Parks, Schools (Rh Mcgregor Catchment), Shops & Restaurants Along The Danforth, The Subway & Dvp. See Attached For Full List Of Included & Excluded Items. (id:31729)
Listing ID E5190959
Salesperson CHRIS NEILL
Brokerage THE WEIR TEAM, BROKERAGE INC.
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
899000.00
1300 WOODBINE AVE, Toronto, Ontario
RIGHT AT HOME REALTY INC.
Bedrooms
3
Bathrooms
2
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Welcome To 1300 Woodbine Ave. A Tastefully Updated Detached Home In One Of Toronto's Most Highly Sought After Areas. Rare 2 Car Laneway Parking! Potential For Laneway Housing. Main Floor Features An Entertainers Dream Open Concept Living Space To Accommodate The Whole Family And More! Beautiful Eat-In Kitchen With Marble Countertop And Walk Out To Covered Deck With Hot Tub! Bsmt In-Law Suite With Full Kitchen, Bath, Separate Entrance.**** EXTRAS **** See Virtual Tour!! Bikers Paradise! Close To Transit And The Beaches! Includes Hot Tub, All Elf, 2 Fridges, 2 Stoves, Washer/Dryer, Cac, Hwt Rental (id:31729)
Listing ID E5196798
Salesperson GIANPAOLO VENNERI
Brokerage RIGHT AT HOME REALTY INC.
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
1490000.00
1321 WOODBINE AVE, Toronto, Ontario
RE/MAX COMMUNITY REALTY INC.
Bedrooms
4
Bathrooms
4
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Beautiful&Spacious Home In Eastyork (Woodbine Heights). Open Concept Main Fl-9 Ft Ceiling. F/Rm@Back Leading To W/O Deck. Gourmet Kitchen With Quartz Counter,Backsplash&Ss Appliances. Hardwood Fl On Main&2nd Fl. Laundry Rm@ 2nd Fl. 4 B/R&3 Full Baths&Powder Room. Master B/R With Ensuite. Patio @ Front&Back Of Home. Finished Basement With Laundry Rm/Full Washroom. Easy To Make Into Separate Apartment. Walk To Woodbinesubway.Close To Dvp,Stan Wadlow Park&School**** EXTRAS **** Stainless Steel Appliances, (Fridge, Stove, Built In Dishwasher), Washer & Dryer, Cac, All Elf's. (id:31729)
Listing ID E5183839
Salesperson VELUMAILUM LOGANATHAN
Brokerage RE/MAX COMMUNITY REALTY INC.
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies